Yoga & Mindfulness Resources for Environmental Educators

As an environmental educator and yoga teacher, I LOVE incorporating mindfulness practices into nature programs. I believe that encouraging mindfulness outside helps students of all ages to become present in both time and place. Sometimes it’s as simple as having a quiet moment out on the hiking trail to listen for birds. Other times IContinue reading “Yoga & Mindfulness Resources for Environmental Educators”

Earth Mandalas: Practicing Mindfulness in Nature

Mandala is the Sanskrit word for CIRCLE. Mandalas are used in many of the world’s cultures and religions as devotional images that symbolize the universe in its ideal form. The creation of a mandala signifies the transformation of a universe of suffering into one of joy. There are examples of mandalas in nature as well,Continue reading “Earth Mandalas: Practicing Mindfulness in Nature”

The Beavers of Narnia

I couldn’t remember if I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a kid until I got to the scene about Turkish Delight. (How many little, American kids trudged through that chapter wondering, “What the heck is Turkish Delight? And if it’s so delicious, why haven’t I tried any?!”) Anyway, I was inspiredContinue reading “The Beavers of Narnia”

“Fighting Beavers for Years!”

Fighting Beavers for Years! is the subject line of an email I recently received. The message described a pond with an overflow pipe clogged with branches and mud. A neighbor with helpful intentions recommended trapping and killing the beavers-to-blame, which they did year after year, in an endeavor they described as a “constant battle.” EveryContinue reading ““Fighting Beavers for Years!””

Beavers Eat Fish and Other Myths

Happy International Beaver Day! Ready to bust some beaver myths and misunderstandings? Beavers do not eat fish. Beavers are strictly herbivores, but they don’t eat only trees either! As ‘choosy generalists,’ their diet consists of many species (80+) of woody, herbaceous, and aquatic plants. Most people blame author C. S. Lewis for the common misunderstandingContinue reading “Beavers Eat Fish and Other Myths”

What Do Reptiles and Restorative Yoga Have in Common?

Brumation! Brumation is a period of dormancy, similar to hibernation, during which an organism becomes physically inactive. It is an adaptive strategy, used by some cold-blooded animals like reptiles and amphibians to survive cold temperatures. Restorative yoga is a style of asana (physical, postural yoga) during which poses are held for longer periods of time,Continue reading “What Do Reptiles and Restorative Yoga Have in Common?”

Quick Thoughts on…Nature Connection

We all connect with nature in different ways, and they are all valid. You can prefer to pee inside and still enjoy being outside. You can simultaneously love your mattress and the mountains, A/C and the AT, Netflix and beaver-chewed sticks. The depth of your love for the earth and its creatures is not provenContinue reading “Quick Thoughts on…Nature Connection”

The Almost Anthropologist’s Favorite Books of 2020

I read 193 books this year. Yes, that includes picture books, because picture books are books too! (How do I keep count? On Goodreads!) Here are all my favorite, human/nature-related books that I READ in 2020 and rated 4 or 5 stars: Nonfiction Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants byContinue reading “The Almost Anthropologist’s Favorite Books of 2020”

Skunk Ape: Primatologists Ponder the Possibility

I lived a good twenty years in Florida before realizing how many primates, both wild and captive, shared my home state. This post explores the idea that introduced species like the Silver River macaques and Dania Beach vervets are not the only primates in Florida. According to some, an ape roams the swamps that isContinue reading “Skunk Ape: Primatologists Ponder the Possibility”

Not the Same Old River

The Appalachian mountains 30,000 feet below resembled a crumpled, dark green blanket. As we flew east, nearing D.C., I looked down upon the gleaming Potomac. I loved that damn river with its tidy banks, neatly lined, and milky brown waters swirling into mesmerizing patterns. The plane crossed the river and turned immediately so its noseContinue reading “Not the Same Old River”

Quick Thoughts on…Handsy Herpers

The wonderful thing about finding reptiles and amphibians in the wild is that they are often slow-moving enough to safely enjoy a satisfying glimpse. So, WHY must so many herpers catch and handle every critter they find? In the wise words of my friend KT Hanson’s herpetologist grandpa, Robert ‘Bob’ Gordon, “Unless it’s roadkill orContinue reading “Quick Thoughts on…Handsy Herpers”